Daring Doctors Newsletter

At the recent  teleconference I suggested that physicians interested in expanding beyond a clinical path need to have 5 personal qualities in order to succeed . . . Do you have these qualities?  I thought I’d take the qualities and put them into an assessment format for my readers . . . let’s see how you assess yourself.

Five Personal Qualities Physicians Need to Excel in Non-Clinical Areas

by Francine R. Gaillour, MD, MBA, FACPE, Executive and Career Coach for Physicians

In my 20+ years of consulting with, coaching, and training physicians, I observe that those who do especially well in “the business world” — which is to say any place other than clinical practice–have in common five personal qualities.

A “personal quality” is a “state of mind” that can be developed or fostered by anyone. It is not like having blue eyes or double-jointed thumbs where you either have or you don’t.

And a personal quality is not the same as “skill.”  I have observed many physicians who have “advanced” business skills, including MBAs, MMMs, certifications and credentials.  And yet these docs still find themselves losing career traction.

What are they still missing?  They are missing an internal “force” that propels them into situations, opportunities, and circles that can accelerate their success.

Go through this list of five personal qualities, and rate how often you demonstrate that quality:

Personal Quality You Need to Succeed

Rate Yourself:
3=Got it
2=Willing to develop it
1=No Got It
1) Having an open mind – a “learner’s mind”

Meaning you are willing to be an avid learner in many domains, even if you’re “starting from scratch” in some.  Getting an MBA is NOT the end of the educational road. You are willing to be a learner for the rest of your professional life.

1 2 3
2) Humility – not needing to be right or have all the answers

Meaning your ego is intact and strong and you don’t need to prop it up artificially through bravado. You are bridge builder.  This does not mean self-deprecating.  Your ego strength comes from knowing what your true gifts and talents are, being comfortable in your own skin.

1 2 3
3) Willingness to live with the unknown

Meaning you have trust in your own innate talents, gifts, and passions; you have clarity about what’s important to you (your values), and confidence that the right path will open up before you  naturally and “just in time.” Trust in the force!

1 2 3
4) Willingness to reach out to others and be fully present

Meaning you create a network of supportive allies and advocates not just by “networking” but more importantly by showing up in the world in your full power; not holding back or minimizing your gifts, talents and greatness.

1 2 3
5) Courage

Meaning you feel the fear and do it anyway.  Taking action steps to build out the dream of how you want you life or leadership to play out.  Confronting those who need confronting.  Stepping up, taking the bigger role, the next audience, the new challenge; making the phone call. It doesn’t mean having no fear!

1 2 3

Your Total Score:

How did you score? I would appreciate knowing how you rated yourself for each of the 5 qualities, and why you rated yourself 1, 2 or 3.  I’m putting together a scoring key this week as the next step in turning this into a formal Career Assessment.  If you email me your score, I will send you the scoring key “in progress” and some thoughts.   francine@physicianleadership.com


Francine R. Gaillour, MD, MBA, FACPE, is an Executive  for Physicians.  Dr. Gaillour specializes in helping physicians who are venturing into new territory as leaders, entrepreneurs, and career adventurers. Dr. Gaillour is also the founder and Director of the Physician Coaching Institute, a coach training program that teaches clinicians and non-clinicians how to coach doctors and the healthcare team. She can be reached at (206) 686-4205, francine@physicianleadership.com or use the Contact Form